View Original Notice ? Palos Verdes baseball sticks to plan, defeats Millikan to advance to Division 2 semifinals
PALOS VERDES ESTATES >>The Palos Verdes baseball team has gotten used to the pressure of close games in the CIF-Southern Section playoffs
The Sea Kings won another close one Friday, defeating Long Beach Millikan 4-2 to advance to the Division 2 semifinals.
Palos Verdes had already won two one-run games in the playoffs entering Friday’s game.
The Sea Kings (21-10) will host Etiwanda in the semifinals Tuesday afternoon.
Alex Forman earned the win allowing one run on four hits in four innings while striking out three and walking one. Kendall Ward and Ryan Roche each had a hit and an RBI for the Sea Kings.
Forman took the mound to start the second inning after Jack O’Connor pitched a scoreless first inning striking out two batters.
Coach Alex Morales said he came into the game with that pitching strategy.
“[O’Connor] hadn’t thrown in a while,” Morales said. “I wanted to get him back out there to see how he was feeling. [Forman] opened the last game of the season and the season was getting long, I didn’t want him getting worn down pitching six or seven innings. I wanted to help bridge the gap to the back end.”
The game plan didn’t keep Forman from his usual preparation.
“I was just treating it like a start,” he said. “Most of my appearances had been starts so I just wanted to keep it as similar as possible.”
Millikan’s Demetri Syrengelas pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits. He walked three batters and hit two. Myles Patton led the Rams with two hits, both singles and an RBI.
Millikan coach Ron Keester said his team was outplayed.
“Obviously it’s disappointing to lose today but they played well,” he said. “They played better than we did today. We thought we hit the ball pretty well. We had a few line outs maybe things turn around if we don’t make a few errors.”
PV took a 1-0 lead in the first inning with one out on Roche’s single to right field scoring Ward from second.
In the second inning, Owen Park hit a ground ball to Millikan shortstop Sam DeCarlo. DeCarlo threw to first for the putout, but the Rams couldn’t cut down Garren Rizzo, who scored from third base just after DeCarlo’s throw to first and came in ahead of the tag from the Millikan catcher for a 2-0 PV lead.
Millikan got on the board in the fourth inning on Christian Cuffaro’s RBI-single. In the bottom half of the inning, PV reestablished it’s two-run lead on Ward’s RBI double, scoring Park.
Like Forman, Ward stuck to his role, and it paid off.
“I tried not to do too much being a lead-off guy,” Ward said. “Just get on base. I was just looking for my pitch and not do anything extra like hit a home run.”
TORRANCE 5, RANCHO CUCAMONGA 1 >> Ricky Ahumada had a home run and three RBIs and the trio of Tommy Adair (four innings), Noah McMinn (1 1/3 innings) and Corey Nunez (1 2/3 innings) handled things on the mound to lead the Tartars (24-5-1) to the Division 2 quarterfinal win.
Torrance will host Maranatha in Tuesday’s semifinal round.
ST. BERNARD 8, RIVERSIDE PREP 5 >> Chase Williams got the win and hit a two-run home run to lead the Vikings (18-5) to the quarterfinal win. St. Bernard will be on the road at Baldwin Park in Tuesday’s semifinal.